Sue Shim, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer of Global Marketing Operations, Samsung Electronics, Seoul South Korea

Since joining Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest consumer electronics company, in 2006, Sue Shim has achieved a number of significant milestones.  This December, though, she certainly made news when Samsung Group announced its largest year-end promotion of vice presidents.  Korea’s biggest conglomerate announced 48 new executive vice presidents, honoring those who “have led in the growth of our flagship projects such as handsets, semiconductors and displays and also strengthened the workforce in our next-generation growth engines.”  Sue Shim was named the company’s first woman executive vice president.

Ms. Shim leads corporate brand strategies and communications for both the business and consumer sectors and is credited with elevating the Samsung brand to a premium level throughout the globe.  The 70+ year-old giant has over 40 subsidiaries in over 100 countries and sees its role as being at the forefront of innovation with breakthrough products that have helped shape the digital revolution, including such recent products as 3D TVs, as well as Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tablets both on the Android platform. 

Samsung invests consistently in its marketing capabilities and places a large commitment to both corporate citizenship and environmental projects.  Today, Samsung Electronics is one of the world’s top 20 brands.  Ten years ago, it appeared on the Interbrand ranking for the first time at #42 and has climbed steadily to #17 in 2011.

In a recent profile with the brand value company, Sue talked about both differentiation and branding—two elements are core to her marketing philosophy and the company’s great success.
“We know that it’s not just being different that matters. It’s about being different in a way that counts—something essential to ensuring that businesses stay ahead of their game in an increasingly competitive marketplace. What has Samsung been doing in the last year to ensure that its ‘different’ makes a ‘difference’?

We are focused on three main priorities to ensure we can make a difference: building and enhancing a single Samsung masterbrand, ensuring consistency in our marketing activity globally, and establishing a closer connection with Samsung’s customers.

Building one core Samsung brand that can differentiate us in the market is essential if we are to have a lasting and competitive advantage in such a rapidly changing marketplace. Our aim is to better define one over-arching brand narrative that encompasses Samsung’s various business units, and ensure this is central to customers’ experience of Samsung across product categories.

At the same time we recognize that it is crucial to communicate Samsung’s innovative products and services with a single credible voice, so we have focused strongly on marketing consistency throughout our marketing assets and worldwide markets. This includes a number of initiatives ranging from publishing clear guidelines on the Samsung brand to adopting a hands-on approach in supporting our retail channel through initiatives like Samsung’s Retail Marketing Center.

Finally, building a closer, more emotional connection with Samsung’s customers is one of the best ways to differentiate our products and services in the market. Samsung continues to build a close relationship with our customers worldwide through various brand marketing platforms and activation programs. This includes our recently re-branded global corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform, Hope for Children, as well as sports marketing activity such as Samsung’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games.”

Before joining Samsung, Sue Shim spent 17 years with Procter & Gamble.  She started her career in Korea in 1989, and then relocated to Japan in 1999 as a Marketing Director of Northeast Asia for Cosmetics & Skincare Global Business Unit.

In 2002, Sue became a Global Marketing Director of Beauty Care Global Business Unit based in Cincinnati, USA. She was responsible for global brand strategy management and new business development for one of top 5 global Procter & Gamble brands.

She graduated from Ewha Women’s University in Korea and completed Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.